The Tanzanian government has launched an initiative to power one million homes with solar power by 2017.

The ‘One Million Solar Homes’ initiative is driven by Tanzanian based Off Grid Electric, locally known as M-Power, which is “leveraging the leasing model of their equity investor and US solar provider SolarCity, to provide affordable solar power in developing markets”, the Echo Journal reported.

The project is expected to generate 15 000 jobs in the solar industry. The generated power will electrify 10% of the country’s population of which currently only 14% has access to the national grid.

President Jakaya Kikwete said, “We [government] know Tanzanians will flourish with access to clean and reliable light and electricity access”.

Development financiers involved in the project

  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
  • USAID Development Innovation Ventures Program
  • SNV (Netherlands Development Assistance)
  • SunFunder

“The possibilities renewable energy innovators can unlock are not only abundant, but inspiring. I’m excited to see what Off-Grid Electric can achieve from this partnership with the Tanzanian government. Through our U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance program, OPIC has seen bold companies like Off-Grid Electric advance the limits of how and where Africans can access clean, plentiful power”, OPIC chief of staff John Morton said.

USAID Deputy Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt said, “Having served as the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, I've seen how improving access to electricity can empower vulnerable communities to escape a cycle of extreme poverty. By harnessing innovation to implement scalable, low-cost solutions, we can bring clean, renewable energy to Tanzania's most vulnerable communities”.